I am a committed workout girl. It all began 21 years ago when my husband casually mentioned to me that I wasn't going to be thin forever. That was all the incentive I originally needed as I have been working out consistently ever since. I workout because I love to eat and don't want to get fat. I work out because it is essential for good, overall health and I want to live a long time. I work out so that I don't have to spend a lot of money on a new clothes size. I work out because I feel so good when I am done.
My first crack at begining an exercise regime almost killed me. I hadn't done any real physical activity since my early college days when I semi-attempted jogging. At the time when my husband shared his observations, I sadly realized that I was more out of shape than I had led myself to believe.
I knew that if I was going to be serious about this change and make exercise a lifetime habit, I needed to do everything I could to get rid of whatever obstacles stood in my way. First and foremost was financial. I really didn't have any extra money to throw at this endeavor. That meant a gym membership was out of the question. I really didn't mind saying "no" to a gym though because going to and from a gym also meant cutting in to my designated exercise time. I only had available 30 minutes, 3 times a week. I didn't want to waste part of that time on driving. Then there were the children. What was I going to do with them when I worked out? There was no extra money to maintain a babysitter three times a week for a lifetime (or at least until they were old enough to stay at home by themselves). And I certainly didn't want to expose them to the cooties that live at a gym childcare. Lastly, I had to figure out when I could consistently exercise. What time period in my day could I devote that was relatively free from other distractions?
What I eventually settled on, and that met all my considerations, was getting up first thing in the morning (before the kids woke up), using the limited equipment I already had (a VCR and a mini-trampoline), and exercising three days a week for 30 minutes. I videotaped segments of a television program called, "Hooked on Aerobics." The various instructors on the show became my dearest friends and exercise buddies. That's what happens when you work out to the same program for several years.
The first six weeks of my workout program was the pits. I felt like I was going to throw up every day which was a huge incentive in and of itself to want to quit. But I decided to stick with it and I eventually overcame the daily nausea. After those first six weeks, , the endorphins finally kicked in and I started to feel really good and successful. I've been hooked on working out ever since and have never wavered in the past 21 years. I think that in itself is pretty remarkable. I've been able to stick with it all these years by continually educating myself on the latest exercise techniques, extending my time to one hour a day for six days a week, and cross-training using different routines such as yoga, aerobics, power walking (my favorite) and strength training. I still do my exercising at home (except when I get out to walk) following either cable exercise programs, DVD's or using the Wii.
Yep, I am committed all right. But lately I have become bored. I felt some kind of a boost was in order. I had always wondered what it would be like to work with a personal trainer. Then, a couple of weeks ago, I ran in to a gal that the last time I saw her was in 1987. And guess what? She is now a personal trainer. She is just starting her own business. I wanted to find out what a personal training session was like. Our coming together was a win-win for both of us. She would make some money and I would receive personal attention.
I met her last Friday at her gym. She spent an hour with me, checking on my form with what I already knew and giving me tips for new ways to work out. She introduced me to a new piece of equipment, a BOSU (Both Sides Utilized). This nifty workout tool is known for training balance, enhancing flexibility and delivering killer cardio workouts. They have an unprecedented reputation for building strength and fine tuning skills for sport. All the kinds of things we need to pay attention to as we age. I'm currently working on getting a BOSU to add to my home gym (I already have a treadmill, an elliptical, stability ball, yoga stuff, and various hand weights). It was an hour well spent, learning new skills, building my confidence level and giving me encouragement to move on to the next level.
Did I really need to go to a personal trainer? Probably not. She validated that my current routine is quite efficient. Was it interesting to go to a personal trainer? Sure. She had some new ideas on the latest fitness trends and was well educated with her craft. Will I go again? Probably not. At least not until I reach an unrelenting plateau again.
Is a personal trainer right for you? Only you can decide. The best decision you can make is to just exercise every day. Get rid of whatever obstacles stand in your way and keep moving. There is so much living ahead and it will be so much easier to enjoy if you are at your optimum health.